Often times in today’s world, there is much competition for the attention of teens as they get to high school. Yet, this is also a vital time for teens to cultivate and strengthen their Jewish identity. The Lehigh Valley community offers many options for students to continue to be engaged from all paths of Judaism.
The local chapter of United Synagogue Youth (USY) meets at Temple Beth El and is headed by Muhlenberg student Josh Ull, who said, “We proudly think differently in our approach to planning social action, religion education, Israel awareness and socialization-oriented programming for all our members.”
NCSY’s Allentown chapter is based at Congregation Sons of Israel. The orthodox youth group offers monthly activities like bowling, ice skating and movie nights. Sons also has Bnei Akiva events, which meet on Saturday afternoons in the synagogue for socializing and meaningful discussion.
BBYO is a great way to get involved through social justice and yearly fun activities. “BBYO has given me amazing leadership skills that I wouldn't have been able to acquire anywhere else and friends from around the country who I know will last a lifetime,” said Hannah Tamarkin.
Chabad of the Lehigh Valley's Friendship Circle focuses on uniting teenage volunteers and children with special needs in a friendship that enhances both lives.
Congregation Am Haskalah offers the teen program TEL (Teen: Experience and Learning), based on a Jewish Reconstructionist Communities program. Each month, students participate in two-hour experiential learning activities, and throughout the year they have two retreats.
Congregation Keneseth Israel offers a teen program KITY (Keneseth Israel Temple Youth) which is a social outlet for teens. It is fun, easy to join and constantly growing!